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Category: Jeeping

Unknown Mountains: Return to the Henry Mountains

Laccoliths in the Desert | Friday – Saturday, June 21-22, 2024

The Henry Mountains are a laccolithic mountain range that stand high above a sea of sandstone cut by deep canyons on the Colorado Plateau and were one of the last-surveyed and last-named mountain ranges in the contiguous United States. In 1869 John Wesley Powell made note of the range during his initial voyage down the Colorado River and called them the Unknown Mountains at the time. Then in 1871 he returned to the area on his second trip down the Colorado and renamed them to the Henry Mountains after Joseph Henry, a close friend who was secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Last year I was planning to head back up into the Henry Mountains after Jared and I had spent a nice weekend there in 2022, but other trips came up and I never made it. This year I was determined to get back early in the summer to hike a couple new peaks and highpoints and chose to go this weekend. I left from work on Friday afternoon and made my way to Hanksville, and even though there were a lot of storms throughout the area this afternoon, some which caused flash flooding around Moab and the San Juan River, I managed to miss them all- aside from the wind. It seems that it’s frequently very windy out when I stop in Hanksville, and today was no exception!

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Gunnison Gorge: Smith Mountain Jeep Road

After Work Adventures | Friday, June 14, 2024

This weekend I was going to be staying close to home so I could spend a little time on the Colorado River, but since a cold font had come through the area and dropped temperatures significantly for the day, I thought it would be a good idea to head over to the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area after work so I could go for a scenic drive on the Smith Mountain Jeep Road and hike to a couple of highpoints along the way. After leaving work on Friday afternoon I drove over to Delta, grabbed dinner in town and then headed over to the Smith Mountain Saddle Trailhead where I started driving up to the top of the ridge above the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. As I was making my way up the mountain a fast-moving storm storm moved across the valley from the Uncompahgre Plateau and quickly dropped the temperature another 15 degrees as the wind picked up.

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( ЯR ) The Rimrocker Trail: Montrose to Moab

Getting Lost in the West End: Across the Uncompahgre Plateau & La Sal Mountains
Friday – Sunday, June 7-9, 2024

After having an amazing time on the river in Cataract Canyon last weekend, I wanted to take it easy and stay a bit closer to home this weekend. With warmer temperatures in the valleys and still too much snow in the high country for me, I thought this might be a great opportunity to finally take a scenic weekend drive across the Uncompahgre Plateau and La Sal Mountains from Montrose to Moab on the Rimrocker Trail, while also taking the time to stop for a few short hikes and side trips along the way. The Rimrocker Trail was created in 2016 by linking up existing roads in this remote area of Western Colorado, many of which I have already driven over the past twenty years, especially while I was working on mapping out a 4X4 route of the Tabeguache Trail and Paradox Trail. But even though I have already driven many of these roads before, it’s been a long time and I really don’t remember very much about them, so I was looking forward to the refresher on this 160 mile route. So after spending Friday evening in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, I drove across the Uncompahgre River Valley and found a campsite near Temple Park and the beginning of the Rimrocker Trail so I could get an early start on Saturday morning.

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Memorial Day Weekend Along the Black Canyon

Memorial Day Weekend | Friday – Sunday, May 24-26, 2024

This Memorial Day Weekend I decided to stay a little closer to home so I could spend some time along the Gunnison River in both the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Since it’s getting to be that time of the year when the desert is starting to get a little too warm for me and there is still too much snow up in the high country, luckily this area along the rim of the Black Canyon is in-between and usually just right at this time of the year.

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Third Flats Road & Art Cook’s View

After Work Adventures | Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Just like last week, I headed over to the Third Flats area after work this afternoon so I could hike a new trail to a highpoint on Horse Mesa, and also just like last week, I ended up changing those plans because of threatening storms in the area. After leaving work and driving up Little Park Road into the Bangs Canyon Recreation Area, I drove down the Third Flats Road all the way to the Gunnison River near the mouth of Billings Canyon and was hoping to hike up to the top of Horse Point from there. However, there were rainstorms in the area and the final section of the road down to the Gunnison River was cut through clay and I didn’t want to chance getting stuck down there if it rained, so I drove back up the road a little ways and hiked the Art Cook’s View Trail instead. I’ll have to come back for Horse Point another time.

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